The Sudanese Army announced at noon on Monday the seizure of power and the dissolution of the main organs of the transition in the country after having arrested at dawn several senior civilian officials of the Executive, including Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, and leaders of pro-government parties and organizations.
The main Sudanese revolutionary groups have responded to the coup with calls for civil disobedience and a general strike, and tens of thousands of people have mobilized in cities across the country to defend a civil and democratic transition.
Security forces have shot dead at least three protesters and injured more than 80, the Sudan Doctors Union had recorded as of mid-afternoon Monday.
The success of the coup would be a serious setback for popular aspirations in Sudan to continue dismantling the regime of former dictator Omar Al Bashir, deposed in 2019 after months of massive demonstrations, to lay the foundations for a civil and democratic government and a rule of law and consolidate the country’s return to the international community after decades of ostracism.
The United States, the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League have urged a return to the transition phase.
In a speech broadcast on television, the commander of the Sudanese Army and until now also the president of the Sovereign Council that acts as Head of State, Abdel Fattah Al Burhan, announced the liquidation of the Government and that same Sovereign Council. He attributes his decision to alleged power disputes and incitement to chaos by civilians.
Al Burhan has also declared a state of emergency throughout the country and the suspension of a series of articles of the document that served as the Constitution during the transition on the composition and powers of the two previous bodies and the participation of civilians.
The general has anticipated that they will appoint a technocratic government to run the country until elections scheduled for 2023.
Al Burhan has also confirmed the arrest of several civilian members of the Sovereign Council, ministers and political leaders. Among them is Hamdok, who has been transferred to an unknown destination by military forces after being initially detained at his home and having refused to make a statement in favor of the coup, according to a statement from the Information Ministry.
The prime minister’s office, for its part, has affirmed that what happened represents “a rupture of the constitutional document and a blow against the conquests of the revolution,” in a statement.
Join returns Sudan to a stage similar to that immediately after the overthrow of former dictator Omar Al Bashir in April 2019, when the Transitional Military Council assumed the reins of power until pressure from civilians forced them to accept a decision.
Alliance of convenience to pilot the transition. Now, however, the military movement threatens to bury the country’s democratic advances in the last two years, and particularly the attempts to undo and settle accounts with the inheritance left by Al Bashir, who today remains in a Khartoum jail.
The country’s civilian leaders had grown increasingly impatient at the generals’ reluctance to a thorough reform of the security and military institutions, including its economic empire, that would leave behind its role in the days of Al Bashir, its long-time ally.
They had also been criticized for their policy of obstruction in matters such as investigating crimes by the security forces perpetrated after the ouster of the former dictator or cooperating with the International Criminal Court in its investigation into the Darfur genocide, which could directly affect some of its leaders.